Bookish Challenge BF and I

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After the inconclusive results of the last challenge we did two years ago here is a new challenge boyfriend and I have agreed upon.

We each get to read ten books picked out by the other by the end of the year!

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Here is the list I’ve been given:

  1. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  2. Railsea China Mieville
  3. Transmetropolitan vol 1
  4. Game of Thrones by G.R.R. Martin
  5. Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. Journey to the centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
  7. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  8. Golden compass by Philip Pullman
  9. Treasure Island by R.L Stevenson
  10. She by Raider H. Haggard

Here are the books I’ve given out:

  1. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  2. U anđeoskom liku zvijeri by Viktoria Faust
  3. Angélique, the Marquise of the Angels by Anne and Serge Golon
  4. Angel and Faith Vol 1
  5. Howl’s moving castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  6. Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
  7. Sex Criminals Vol 1
  8. Circle by Dave Eggers
  9. Rosie Effect by Greame Simsion
  10. Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

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New project: Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt

I’ve seen Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt Challenge in many forms and different parts of the Internet sphere. Some make Youtube video uploads on it and some blog about it.

 

I’ve come across it on Dreamland Book Blog and liked the idea. Here is the challenge list Beatrice made almost two years ago.

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Find an author’s name or title with the letter Z in it.
Find a classic
Find a book with a key on it
Find something on your bookshelf that’s not a book
Find the oldest book on your shelf
Find a book with a girl on the cover
Find a book with a boy on the cover
Find a book that has an animal in it
Find a book with a male protagonist
Find a book with only words on it
Find a book with illustrations in it
Find a book with gold lettering
Find a diary (true or false)
Find a book written by someone with a common name (like smith)
Find a book that has a close up of something on it
Find a book on your shelf that takes place in the earliest time period
Find a hardcover book without a jacket
Find a teal/turquoise colored book
Find a book with stars on it
Find a non YA book
Find the longest book you own
Find the shortest book you own
Find a book with multiple PoVs
Find a shiny book
Find a book with flowers on it

For the next 25 days I will try to fit books I’ve got on my shelf in it. With the photo of the book I’ll also add a bit of information on the book in question and use this opportunity to clean the dust from those I haven’t read or looked in a while. I’ll try to find the books I own and ignored for some reason.

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This will be a nice way for me to review my bookshelves and find some hidden gems among the books I already own!

No bad books in sight

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I have worked on a book challenge for 2015 for a community group I am a part of. It was more or less simple to pick out some challenge categories for books to read. I put out 20 categories for people to chose from. The whole thing is in Croatian and here is a link.

In my enthusiasm I posted one category that is giving me trouble now. Under number 10 there states:

READ A BOOK THAT WAS GIVEN A BAD REVIEW BY THE CRITICS

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I have searched high and low for some kind of a list of books that are BAD.

After having found some wonderful (IMHO) books on these lists I have learned a valuable lesson and decided to write this post. There are some issues I should have taken into account when discussing books that are considered NOT GOOD.

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1. Reading is a personal process and as such it can only be valued trough personal experience.

Most of the lists I have found that categorized books as bad were on social networks like Goodreads. These were given tags like: worst books, bad books and some more colorful adjectives to describe the books that generally annoyed the reader. Here is an example of one such list.

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2. Books that end up described as bad by one reader are marked as favorites by another reader.

It can be seen in some articles like this one that books that ruffle the most feathers and have “bad” tags also have a strong supporters that love them. This love-hate response is generally often with some bestsellers that have famous movie adaptations or are in some other way connected to mainstream commercial venues.

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3. The term BAD BOOK is questioned by the critics.

In my search I have come across many lists that offered “THE BEST BOOKS” summaries by genre, date or some other limitation. Generally, there is an accent on the promotion of positive and “GOOD” what literary world has to offer. I have even come across a few articles like this one that were giving reasons for abandoning the bad reviews altogether.

In conclusion

I am still looking for a book to read that has been reviewed as BAD. What seemed the best way to find it at first was  by asking a friend for a book that they thought was bad. I’m also looking on other peoples shelves on Goodreads or Shelfari. If you have a bad book for me to read please comment here or send me a message about it!

I appreciate any book you consider bad that you throw my way!

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Reading challenge BF & me – review

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Last year in February I started this challenge with my boyfriend. The year 2014 has passed and here are our results:

Boyfriend

From the eleven books he had to read he managed to complete reading 5 books and got stuck on number 6. The book that gave him grief and made him stop reading since summer is Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carrey

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From now on I shall refer to this book as “The doom of my beloved”. It is the first book in Kushiel’s Legacy series and I loved it so much I have bought the whole series. Just this first book has 900+ pages and the rest of the books are chubby in the page number department as well. There was one he complained about quite a bit. By my boyfriends own words he enjoyed the challenge and liked the books he read up until this last one. He even says that some of them were an eye opening experience.

Me

From the eleven books I was challenged to read I have read 5 books. Some of the books were very hard for me to read trough and I complained trough them quite a bit. I do plan to read all the books I was challenged with at my own pace. The book I loved the most was Mirror Dance(Vorkosigan saga book 12) by Lois McMaster Buyold

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Even though this is book 12 in the series I found it easy to get into the story. I am not a fan of traditional science fiction but was delighted with this space opera. The characters were easy to relate to and their dynamic appealed to me. I will find time to read the rest of Miles Vorkosigan saga books.

 

Challenge conclusion

Neither of us have completed all the books in the challenge. In the end we read the same amount of books but he won by half a book. We both learned a bit about ourselves and our reading choices and habits. We both don’t work well when forced to read something we did not choose ourselves and have rather hedonistic views on our chosen reading material – if we cannot enjoy, we get grumpy. We might continue to challenge ourselves with some books we like but the time limitation will probably not be a part of the deal. We each like our own reading paces and we need to respect that.

In the end we are both glad we tried the challenge!